New Coach, New Playoff Dreams
February 1, 2018
Fruita Monument is known as the 5a powerhouse that dominates Western Slope sports and boys basketball is no exception. There have been two head coaching changes on the boys side over the past four years.
The job opened up once again when it was announced that Billy Dreher would not be returning for the 2017-2018 year. When Ryan Hayden, Central High School’s Varsity Boys former Basketball coach applied for the job, it seemed like a `perfect fit as he was more than qualified to take over this leadership position. He is a familiar face in the valley, and during his last year as Central’s head coach, he lead them to an impressive 16-8 season, with a league record of 6-2. Hayden, during the off-season continues to be immersed in the game as he coaches the high school aged boys around the valley that participate in the Premier Basketball Club. There is a certain level of commitment to basketball and improving all kids no matter what team they play for during high school that makes Coach Hayden a valuable member to Fruita’s coaching staff.
Upon his hiring, Fruita’s Athletic Director Denny Squibb commented in an interview with CHSAA, “Fruita Monument is excited that Coach Hayden has accepted this coaching position. We feel he is one of the top coaches on the Western Slope.”(chsaanow.com). His acceptance of this role will hopefully lead the boys to a winning season and so far they are on course to do so bolstering a respectable 11-7 start to the season.
It takes cooperation and tireless hours of hard work from the athletes, coaching staff, and administration to turn a program around in the high school setting. StateUniversity.com predicts that on average, a high school basketball coach makes anywhere from “$800 to $3,000 per year”, which means that they have to be passionate about the game and about the kids in their program.
He has implemented a new style of play that the team has adjusted well to,with ball movement as the core component yet, it still allows opportunities for players of all skill sets to flourish. The boys team members have taken a strong liking to Coach Hayden’s philosophy and they appreciate the way he cares for them as people and not just athletes. Junior standout Reilly Flinn comments, “He encourages a family atmosphere and he cares about us as individuals.” Between practice 5-6 days a week, road trips, and team dinners during the season, this position is important because the coach will have a major influence on a student’s life as they spend so much time together